May 26, 2017 —
Lt. Gen. Nguyen Quang Dam, commandant of the Vietnamese coast guard, and Rear Adm. Michael J. Haycock, assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisition officer for the U.S. Coast Guard, shake hands during the transfer ceremony for the former high endurance cutter WHEC-722 at Coast Guard Base Honolulu, May 25, 2017. The cutter, now CSB-8020, will continue to serve the maritime community on the opposite side of the Pacific. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa E. McKenzie.
The U.S. Coast Guard transferred the decommissioned Hamilton-class 378-foot high endurance cutter WHEC 722 to the Vietnamese coast guard at a ceremony in Honolulu May 25, marking the eighth such transfer through the Office of International Acquisition’s Excess Defense Articles program.
This is the first time the Coast Guard has transferred a high endurance cutter to another nation’s coast guard. The ship will be the largest in the Vietnamese coast guard’s fleet.
“Our two nations share a common interest in preserving freedom of navigation, respect for international maritime law and ensuring maritime security – all areas where coast guards play critical roles and offer unique capabilities,” said Rear Adm. Michael Haycock, assistant commandant for acquisition and chief acquisition officer, in his presiding remarks. “This ship transfer, which will strengthen the Vietnam Coast Guard, is another demonstration of our commitment to these interests.”
The Office of International Acquisition is supporting the vessel during a maintenance, upgrade and training period in Honolulu before the ship departs for Da Nang, Vietnam, this fall. The Coast Guard is providing $13.9 million worth of transfer support, including equipment procurement and installation, funded through foreign military financing under a Title 22 grant.
In addition to helping build and sustain global maritime partnerships in support of the Coast Guard’s national maritime strategy, each high endurance cutter transfer also helps the service avoid approximately $12 million in disposal costs.
WHEC 722 entered service in March 1969 and was decommissioned in April 2017. The U.S. has also transferred three high endurance cutters to the Philippine navy and two each to the Bangladeshi and Nigerian navies. Four cutters in the class remain in service in the Pacific.
The high endurance cutters are being replaced by the national security cutters, six of which are already in service. The seventh NSC is scheduled for delivery next year.
For more information: International Acquisition Program page